Ring in the New Year by exercising like the Eskimos

The 17th annual Leo Brady Exercise like the Eskimos will be held in Bethany Beach on Tuesday, Jan. 1.

“It actually started out as a Kiwanis event,” said Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce Operations and Events Manager Helen Ball. “Then a gentleman named Leo Brady brought that event to us when they were no longer able to manage it, and he wanted it to continue, so that’s how the Chamber got involved.”

Since then, the event has steadily grown, and people from all over travel to Bethany to take part each year.

“It has grown from a local event to a regional event,” said Ball. “We had well over 500 folks participate last year.”

The plunge will take place on Jan. 1 at noon, with the cost of registration being $35 per person or $15 for students 18 of younger. Day-of registration and check-in will run from 7 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on the Bethany bandstand.

Those who wish to brave the winter ocean, rain or shine, come high noon may only wear bathing suits, as wetsuits, sweatsuits, business suits and so forth will not be permitted.

A portion of the proceeds raised from plunge will benefit the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation, a local organization, which raises charitable funds and returns them to the community in the form of grants for local organizations and scholarships for the area’s youth.

The plunge is one of three events organized by the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce to benefit QRCF.

“We do the Ocean-to-Bay Bike Tour, the Boardwalk Arts Festival and the Exercise like the Eskimos every year to raise money for QRCF,” said Ball. “That way we can guarantee our donation for the year.”

The Hair of the Dog 5K/10K, another QRCF fundraiser, will be taking place earlier that day, throughout Bethany.

“We get a lot of participants participating in both events now,” she said. “It’s really great to see.”

Ball said that she hopes people will continue the tradition of jumping into the ocean on New Year’s Day, and help support the QRCF mission.

“It’s really turning into a great event but a great day,” she said.

For more information, visit www.bethany-fenwick .org or call (302) 539-2100.